CTC News

Competitive intelligence: international marketers seek take-off with new campaigns.

The sky was the limit for KLM in Canada, while Minnesota turned to Instagram and Athens showed off its modern side.

18 December 2014
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International tourism marketing is a high-stakes innovation game, with destinations constantly seeking a new ace in their hand. The flow of campaigns and promotions never ceases: some soar into the stratosphere, while others remain parked on the runway.

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has been raising the stakes, based on the strength of the rich tourism experiences that Canada has to offer. However, we always keep a sharp eye on the work of our rivals: thanks again to our colleagues and partners for the great intel that helped assemble this CTC News round-up.

  • Come fly with me: KLM ran a fun street promotion in Canadian cities this past fall, letting consumers “experience” piloting a plane on take-off. One lucky winner also took home two return tickets to Europe.

  • Instant gratification: Explore Minnesota was the latest destination to try its hand at using social-media influencers. Its fall campaign leant heavily on Instagram, asking travellers to share their adventures as they went, using the #OnlyinMN hashtag. In a novel twist, the “10 Day Minnesotans” campaign also used a family of five among its influencers.
  • Eureka: Marketing Greece teamed up with Athens International Airport to promote the ancient Greek capital city via a social-media campaign. “I’m an Athenian Too” encourages travellers to upload their Athenian images to the campaign app along with a sticker identifying where they were or how they felt. The campaign’s goal was to show the edgy modern side of one of Europe’s oldest metropolises.

  • Walls come tumbling down: VisitBritain has branched out into content marketing with its new Tumblr page. It’s “Be Inspired” section chooses 20 pieces of content at random designed to inspire travellers to book a trip to the UK. The “Discover Great Britain” page highlights eight key sectors—countryside, film, food, heritage, music, shopping, sport and TV—and is being promoted via sponsored content on Yahoo.
  • Fasten your seatbelts: Virgin America’s latest ad taps travellers’ funny bones. It features a parody flight—all six hours of it—of BLAH Airlines Flight 101 from Newark to San Francisco. The aim is to show the dullness of their rivals, encouraging travellers to fly Virgin America instead. Enjoy.

  • By the beard of Gandalf: Air New Zealand has returned to the well of safety videos again, hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the upcoming release of “The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies.” It’s full of references to halflings, wizards and elvish folk, as you’d expect, with a surprise appearance by the movie trilogy’s director, Sir Peter Jackson.

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